A spiny demon fell out of the chandelier and into my decolletage,
just as the aperitifs were being served.
There is only one thing for a lady to do when this happens,
and so I went to the kitchen and boiled him in a pot
like an artichoke.
The chef in his toque
and his staff in their amazement
gaped at me for crossing an unspoken boundary line,
but I was raised by wolves
and educated at Smith--
I can snarl with accent or without.
By this time I could see the spiny demon's breath,
though it may have been steam,
or just hot air.
Concerned for my manicure,
I plucked him from his impromptu bath with tongs,
and demanded to know if he had come
to try to collect my soul.
He clammed up, so I went next door,
holding him gingerly by the tail,
into the neighbor's house,
the Land That Time Forgot,
and played stoopball with him against the inside stairs.
I used a Babolat racket
and a wicked serve to make him talk.
Borrowing the jack from someone's Audi,
I opened his gob and got the truth out of him.
He had been spitting night into my stellar disposition,
while I slept,
innocent as a kitten.
I stashed his loathsome spiny self in the dishwasher
and, departing the neighbor's house,
I kicked off my Jimmy Choos, letting my bare feet sink into the wet grass.
The sun was coming up,
as yellow as a taxi cab,
so I started all over, despite my age, and despite convention.
What the hell, Bo Peep, I said to myself,
live a little, bring down a moose,
win a Pulitzer,
get a girlfriend.
for mag 228